West Seattle Helpline celebrates 25 years, chooses new executive director

April 21, 2014 at 11:43 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 3 Comments

Much to celebrate tonight at the West Seattle Helpline Founders’ Day Dinner. In honor of the emergency-assistance agency’s 25th anniversary, founders, supporters, and current leaders gathered for dinner at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) – among them, Kate Stannard, just chosen as WS Helpline’s ninth executive director, who paused for a photo with board president Brooks Riendl:

A thumbnail history of the Helpline notes that its inspiration started with the late Queen Anne Thriftway owner Dick Rhodes starting the Queen Anne Helpline in the 1980s, and wanting to do something similar in West Seattle when he opened Admiral Thriftway a few years later. The three organizers of the first planning meeting – Maureen Hersholt, Gregg Hersholt, and Phil Talmadge – were among the 20-plus guests at tonight’s dinner.

P.S. Here’s how you can help the Helpline and its thousands of clients – buy tickets to its ultra-popular, ultra-tasty fundraiser Taste of West Seattle, coming up May 15th.

Remembering Ethel Eyrse, 1914-2014, who lived ‘with great wit and curiosity’

April 18, 2014 at 10:51 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 6 Comments

The family of 99-year-old Ethel Eyrse, who spent the final fourth of her life here, shares this remembrance:

Ethel Louise (Boyer) Eyrse passed away on April 9, 2014. She was born in Saidora, IL on Dec. 2, 1914, to Harry and Elsie Boyer. Ethel moved to Pekin, IL in her teens and, after graduating from Pekin High School, worked at the Pekin Finance Company. She married Fred Eyrse on Aug. 2, 1936.

Ethel was an active volunteer at the Pekin Hospital League, holding many chairs including League President, and started the Nearly Nu Shop which over the years has raised thousands of dollars for the hospital. She moved to Seattle in 1997, following the death of Fred. She lived her 99-plus years with great wit and curiosity about life.

Always independent, Ethel was able to stay in her own apartment in West Seattle with a view of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains and was as sharp as a tack to the end. A bit of her wit was shared online by her granddaughter, Shanna, through the website Upload Your Grandma.

Ethel is survived by her son, Steven Eyrse of Pekin, daughter Cinda (Eyrse) Christie of Seattle, three grandchildren, Shanna Christie, Severn Eyrse and Margaret Lanphier, and two great-grandchildren, Severn Eyrse Jr. and Hazel Lanphier. She will be greatly missed.

There will be a celebration of Ethel’s life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations could be made in her name to the Pekin Hospital League, 600 South 13th Street, Pekin, IL 61554.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Undies with a twist: West Seattle women crowdfund for BoiBums

April 16, 2014 at 11:22 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 10 Comments

“We are excited to share our vision with like-minded women who want a
comfortable alternative to girly women’s underwear,” say Betsy Bruce and Dana Joy – both longtime West Seattleites – as they launch a crowdfunding campaign for their creation: Underwear called BoiBums. They’re trying to raise money to manufacture “a product for women using the same soft fabrics, comfortable cut, and wide-waistband used in men’s underwear.” (Briefs, not boxers.) And the sizing range will be robust – briefs in sizes up to the equivalent of 3XL. You can watch Dana and Betsy’s sassy pitch video on the Kickstarter page for BoiBums. In crowdfunding tradition, they’re offering rewards to donors, all detailed on that page. And if the underwear business goes well, they’re expecting to expand into other – perhaps, more visible – lines of apparel.

Congratulations to West Seattleites with awards, nominations

April 15, 2014 at 2:01 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 3 Comments

Congratulations go out to three West Seattleites with recent awards/nominations:

(Image courtesy NK Woodworking)
STEPPING UP TO VICTORY: Alki resident Nathie Katzoff is proprietor of NK Woodworking, which has just won more awards in a single year at the Stairways Manufacturers’ Association national trade show than any company has ever won before. That’s according to a company spokesperson who sent word of the wins – for Most Unique Staircase, Best Straight Staircase, Best Balustrade, and Best Stair Part, and notes that Katzoff has ascended in his industry relatively quickly, at the age of just 26.. The company also works on wooden boats, from a yard in South Park, and has its woodworking studio in South Seattle. See more of NKW’s work here.

EMMY NOMINATION FOR ‘DIVER LAURA’: Seattle’s regional Emmy Award nominations were made public this past weekend, and the nominees include West Seattle advocate/activist/photographer/etc. “Diver Laura” James, who contributed photography to the public-TV story you see above, a collaborative piece about sea otters and climate change, produced for KCTS 9 (though the story page from which the video comes is hosted by another public TV station). She is nominated along with producer Michael Werner, photographer/editor Greg Davis, and coordinating producer Katie Jennings. The winners will be announced at an event in June; you can see the full list of Seattle/regional nominees via a doc linked from this site.

‘CELEBRATE WORLD MUSIC’ AWARD NOMINATION: West Seattle’s Tim Huling is one of eight composers who were part of “Celebrate World Music,” a world-premiere concert at Benaroya Hall in March 2013. The resulting album is up for an Independent Music Award. Here’s one of Huling’s contributions from the concert, “The Ballad of Sylvester Jourdain“:

“Celebrate World Music” is nominated in the Contemporary Classical category; winners will be announced next month.

Remembering Barbara Jean Parker, 1954-2014

April 14, 2014 at 10:27 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 1 Comment

The family of Alki resident Barbara Parker, 60, shares this remembrance:

Barbara “Barb” Jean (Killian) Parker found peace on her way to heaven on March 29, 2014 to be with her sister Christine, her sister Darlene, her father Benny, mother Emily, her mother-in-law Jean, and her father-in-law Allan.

Born March 4, 1954, in Cleveland, Ohio, the oldest sister to Chris, Debbie, and Cindy, Barb’s reputation as a fighter began with her premature birth. She grew up in Cleveland and graduated from James Ford Rhodes High School. She attended Renton Technical College and received CAD/CAM certification as well as the University of Washington Project Management certification.

She met Michael Allan Parker in the fall of 1972 in the Sohio computer center where they both worked. They were married on March 3, 1973, by his father, Father Allan Parker, at St. Phillips Episcopal Church in Cleveland, Ohio. Their son Michael was born in Cleveland and then they moved to Seattle, where their son Matthew was born. After living in Dallas and Mission Beach, they returned to West Seattle to live in Alki.

Barbara was involved in the West Seattle community, and served as the Northwest Cavalier Rescue coordinator, adopting out 21 dogs. Barbara most recently worked for the Seattle Lighthouse of the Blind as a Technical Writer and Documentation Control. Previously she was an IT and ISO Internal Auditor. Barbara organized whomever she worked for, with a contagious humor.

Barbara will be missed by her husband Michael, sons Michael and Matthew, daughters-in-law Angie and Jessica, granddaughters Trinity, Emily, and Tess, sisters Deborah and Cynthia, the in-laws Edith and John, David, Janet, Ann and Dan, and Amy and Ken, plus countless nieces and nephews and cousins. Barbara was surrounded by family in her final days. To honor Barb’s wishes, there will be a private roast to celebrate her life on May 3rd in Alki Beach.

Donations would be made in the memory of Barbara Parker to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, PO Box 19023, Seattle, WA 98109 and be directed toward breast-cancer research. Online donations for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance can be made here.

Alternatively, donations can be made in Barbara Parker’s memory to the King Charles Cavalier Rescue. The information can be found here.

Funeral arrangements are under the care of Howden-Kennedy Funeral Home of West Seattle.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Followup: History-making South Seattle College team back from aerospace competition, sharing successes and gratitude

April 9, 2014 at 8:32 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people, West Seattle schools | 5 Comments

(Photos courtesy CrystalRose Hudelson)
“The world of aviation is so vast, with endless possibilities waiting to be explored by young men and women!”

So says CrystalRose Hudelson, who you first met here in January as she shared the news that she and other South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) students had formed an all-woman team to head to the Aviation Maintenance Competition in Las Vegas – the school’s first-ever team to compete.

We also reported on their quest for – and acquisition of – the support they needed to get there, as well as their months of training/practicing. Now, they’re back and celebrating their successes:

Hudelson’s team, coached by longtime aviation mechanic Mary Hadley and also including Agnes Choung, Jennifer Lesher, Melissa Miedan Wang, and Sarah McKenna, placed first in one of the events in which they competed, the “Grey Owl Human Factors” event, with a time of 7:06. She explains that events were judged mostly on a 20-minute time basis.

Overall, she says, “The team did well in the competition. The judges and other professional teams commented on how well we did. This let us know that they know we are knowledgeable in the event materials. We did not, however, place overall. There is only 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place overall.”

Ahead, their other achievements, more photos, and what’s next:

Click to read the rest of Followup: History-making South Seattle College team back from aerospace competition, sharing successes and gratitude…

Remembering Greg Riddle, 1954-2014; celebration of life Saturday

April 6, 2014 at 3:05 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 15 Comments

A celebration of life is planned next Saturday for Greg Riddle, 59. His fight against cancer made news here two months ago when his family’s home near Roxhill Elementary caught fire, forcing them to find somewhere else to live, which they did, thanks in part to suggestions from WSB’ers when Mr. Riddle’s daughter Kristine Elliott asked here for ideas and assistance. Now, she shares this remembrance of her dad:

Family and friends will gather Saturday, April 12th, at 11:30 a.m. at Boulevard Park Place Retirement Community, 2805 S. 125th St. in Burien, for a Celebration of Life.

William Gregory Riddle passed away March 27, 2014. Greg was born October 24, 1954, to William (Bill) Cecil & Flo (Sue) Riddle, the 6th of 7 children, in Redding, California. He met the love of his life, Eileen Turgeon, in 1978 and they were married in 1982. Together, they raised their 3 children.

He was a highly skilled carpenter who had a unique bond with animals and loved to fish for salmon in the Hoh, Sol Duc & Bogachiel Rivers in Forks, Washington. Greg also loved the outdoors and spending time with his family. Some of his happiest times were coaching Little League Baseball. He knew how to bring out the players’ full potential, taught them to play as a team, and how to win or lose with pride.

Greg is survived by his wife Eileen, daughter Kristine and son-in-law Ryan Elliott, son Trevor Riddle, daughter Catherine Riddle, and daughter Jessica Riddle; four grandchildren Luke, Reese, Blake, and Chase Elliott; brothers Derryl Riddle and Tim Riddle; sisters Pat Henk and Mary Riddle. He was preceded in death by his father Bill, mother Sue, brothers Chuck Riddle and Kenny Riddle.

You will always be loved and forever missed…

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Congratulations! Reis Pearson honored with President’s Volunteer Service Award

April 6, 2014 at 11:23 am | In Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 6 Comments

“Make a Difference … Volunteer!” So exhorts the home page for the President’s Volunteer Service Award program. Someone who did – Reis Pearson (photo left) from the Rotary Club of West Seattle – has been honored with the award, according to an announcement from ShelterBox USA. Pearson is one of three WS Rotarians who work with ShelterBox, which we’ve featured here before – as described in the announcement, “an international disaster-relief organization that delivers emergency tented shelter and other lifesaving supplies to survivors of disasters and other humanitarian crises.” Last year alone, Pearson’s fund- and awareness-raising work for ShelterBox helped it “respond to more than 25 disasters in 19 countries last year, providing families with disaster relief tents, cook stoves, water filters, blankets, mosquito nets, children’s packs and other essential equipment.” Pearson is a local entrepreneur as well, proprietor of Inside Out Building Inspection.

Congratulations! West Seattle Y Dolphins swimmers compete at YMCA Short Course National Championships

April 6, 2014 at 10:37 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people, WS & Sports | 5 Comments

Thanks to West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) Dolphins swim-team parent Brent Lindblom for sharing the photo, and congratulations to those in it – Coach Kyle Homad and swimmers Michael Stewart and Karen Woodworth – for representing the WSY at the YMCA Short Course National Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina, this past week. Checking the detailed meet info – Michael (a Chief Sealth International High School student) competed in the 50 and 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly; Karen (a Vashon Island HS student) competed in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and 200 individual medley.

Memorial service Monday for Morey Skaret, Fauntleroy storyteller

April 5, 2014 at 1:52 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 11 Comments

The memorial service for Fauntleroy legend Morest “Morey” Skaret, 100, is set for 10 am this Monday (April 7th) at Forest Lawn (6701 30th SW). As noted in his obituary, as published in The Seattle Times, Mr. Skaret had been a West Seattleite since childhood. He also served with the Seattle Police Department for more than 40 years; our photo at right is from 2012, when he was honored by the Seattle Police Relief Association. Mr. Skaret was known by many as a storyteller; some of his stories are on HistoryLink.org, like this one. Fauntleroy writer/editor/community advocate Judy Pickens edited Mr. Skaret’s book of life stories, “Morey’s Bench“; we asked her for a few words in his memory:

“Nothing reveals the grain of a life and the time of its living quite like personal stories. And to loved ones, friends, and neighbors, no one can tell a story better than Morey Skaret.”

I wrote those words in 2003, when Morey and I culminated publication of “Morey’s Bench,” a collection of his stories spanning his early years on a homestead in Alberta, through his settling in Fauntleroy in 1937, to his long retirement overlooking the ferry terminal. Throughout the process, I could never convince him that people would want to buy the book. When the dust settled, however, we had reprinted it three times to satisfy demand.

With Morey’s passing on March 27, loved ones, friends, and neighbors have those stories and many “Did I ever tell you about…” moments with him as fond memories. Those not fortunate enough to have a copy of the book may find a sampling of his stories at www.historylink.org/?keyword=Skaret&DisplayPage=results.cfm&Submit=Go.

If you have a story to share, Mr. Skaret’s online guestbook is here.

Video: Westside Awards presented at West Seattle Chamber of Commerce; Mayor Murray keynotes

April 3, 2014 at 11:28 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 11 Comments

Photos/video by Patrick Sand
Story by Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

“All businesses need a voice,” said West Seattle Chamber of Commerce board chair Nancy Woodland, toward the start of this morning’s Westside Awards breakfast at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor). “We get so much more done, coming together, and that is the value of your Chamber of Commerce … where your voice can join other voices and be heard throughout the city.”

One proof of the citywide audience – the keynote speaker was Mayor Ed Murray, who lived in West Seattle in childhood:

Later in this story, you’ll see our video of what he had to say, and how he answered questions from those in attendance – but this story is about the Westside Award winners, first announced one week ago.

Being part of the Chamber means visibility, Woodland added, and that’s certainly one benefit of the annual Westside Awards. The video atop this story features the entirety of today’s presentations, so you can hear for yourself what they said. We took photos, too:

Westside Business of the Year, for General Biodiesel, was accepted by founder Yale Wong:

He and team members posed out on the Salty’s deck afterward:

Wong said GB now recycles oil from 3,000 restaurants around the Northwest.

Westside Emerging Business of the Year, for Second Gear Sports, a consignment shop for sports, exercise, and fitness gear, was accepted by proprietor Mark Bremen:

Bremen said that in just 7 months of operation, they’ve already had 400 consigners and thousands of items.

Westside Non-Profit of the Year, the West Seattle Food Bank – here’s their team picture:

The Food Bank helped more than 37,000 families last year alone.

And the Westsider of the Year, Josh Sutton of the West Seattle and Fauntleroy Y (WSB sponsor) and Rotary Club of West Seattle, with wife Susan and son Guthrie, who introduced him:

This was the first awards breakfast since Lynn Dennis became CEO.

Now, to the keynoter: Mayor Murray touched on several of the topics we discussed with him in our recent interview – especially transportation. This morning, he declared that West Seattle’s mobility issue was the city’s top transportation problem. Hear for yourself in our video of his remarks; he was introduced by the Chamber’s past chair, Dave Montoure:

He touted this Saturday’s Neighborhood Summit, 9 am-1 pm at Seattle Center, as an opportunity “to decide how we want to reinvent our city’s relationships with our neighborhoods.” He mentioned 500 people had RSVP’d as of this morning, and given the Northwest proclivity for procrastination, “we expect that number to grow.”

Regarding transportation, and the infrastructure needed to support growth, Murray got in a plug for Proposition 1, the buses-and-roads ballot measure, saying, “First of all, we have to preserve the transit we have … it’s incredibly important.” If Prop 1 doesn’t pass on April 22nd, he declared, “not only will people suffer in this city, people will suffer in the county.” He also promoted his outreach for opinions on the search for a new city transportation director and what people “are looking for from SDOT.” That’s when he said the “tough decisions going forward” included “how are we going to fund a rapid transit system from West Seattle into the rest of the city? While Sound Transit has plans, they are decades away. I don’t believe we can wait decades. It might be a grade-separated bus route that eventually (becomes) a light rail route. We need to look at how we manage the West Seattle (Bridge).”

And after declaring this the city’s #1 transportation problem, he mentioned the Highway 99 tunnel trouble, saying he thinks it’ll take at least nine months to get going: “While I wish this hadn’t happened, I’m glad it happened earlier on.”

He went through other issues – Seattle Police, which, he mentioned has “the most diverse police command staff in the history of the city” right now.

Taking a few questions from those in attendance, he was asked about density without much parking – also an issue we discussed in our recent interview – and, as he said to us, he said the comprehensive-plan review (Seattle 2035) is one way to look for a balance, though, he said, “I absolutely believe we should have fewer parking spaces.”

In a non-WS question, he was asked about people openly smoking marijuana in Pioneer Square. He said openly smoking pot or drinking alcohol are both illegal and they are working on being able to arrest those who do it.

NEXT CHAMBER EVENT: Even if you are not a Chamber member, you are welcome at their events – next up, a briefing by King County Metro during the monthly lunch, 11:30 am next Thursday, April 10th, at The Kenney (WSB sponsor) – register here.

Gatewood Elementary Class of 1956? Or, know someone who was?

April 1, 2014 at 9:04 am | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 5 Comments

(Photos provided by The WROC-ers; above, Ms. Ostle’s class)
Reunions aren’t just for high-school classes! This morning, we have a special announcement – with photos – for a reunion of Gatewood Elementary alums who went there more than half a century ago:

*If you attended Gatewood Elementary with the Class of ’56, reunite with your classmates on Friday, August 22nd. We will tour the remodeled Gatewood, then adjourn to Lincoln Park for a catered picnic. *

*In our day, Gatewood sixth graders went to either West Seattle or Sealth. Our 50th high-school reunions inspired us to reconnect with childhood friends from the neighborhood. The WROC-ers (‘Woodies Reunion Organizing Committee) found addresses for 70 of the former ’56ers. The first mailings are out, and the first RSVPs are in. *

(Mr. Acedo’s class)
*If you can help locate missing classmates (see the list below) or if you, a ’56er, haven’t received a flyer, please contact Bruce Thomason, papabruce@msn.com*

(Ms. Covey’s class)
*Mark August 22nd on your calendar in ink! We’d love to see you.*

*The WROC-ers: Margaret Cullor Brown, Beth Eldred Davis, Lyn Kraatz, Carol Shipley Stoner, Bruce Thomason*

They also sent a list of people they’re looking for: “We have not found these friends from Gatewood.” – if you’re reading this from the WSB home page, click ahead to see the list:

Click to read the rest of Gatewood Elementary Class of 1956? Or, know someone who was?…

Memorial planned April 5th for Mary Jane Holtan, 1938-2014

March 28, 2014 at 6:59 am | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 1 Comment

The family of West Seattleite Mary Jane Holtan shares this remembrance and announcement of her upcoming memorial:

Mary Jane Holtan, 75, passed away on March 20th, 2014.

A Memorial will be held on April 5th at 4 pm at Alki United Church of Christ, 6115 SW Hinds.

Mary was born in Rapid City, South Dakota, to Ralph and Alice Platt, on April 27, 1938. She went to school at Mt. Si High School in Snoqualmie.

She married Oryland (Bud) Holtan on May 7th, 1960. Mary is preceded in death by her husband, her parents Ralph and Alice Platt, and her two Brothers James Platt and David Platt.

She is survived by Dean Holtan (son), Sheila Holtan (daughter-in-law), Janice Platt (sister-in-law), and several nieces and nephews.

Donations may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Mary’s name online (here).

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

2014 Westside Awards: Congratulations to General Biodiesel, Second Gear Sports, West Seattle Food Bank, Josh Sutton

March 27, 2014 at 9:13 am | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 15 Comments

The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has announced this year’s Westside Awards recipients, who will be honored at a breakfast event one week from today. From WSCofC CEO Lynn Dennis and chair Nancy Woodland:

The Westside Awards Breakfast honors three local businesses and one individual who demonstrate success and innovation that contribute to this thriving economic region.

The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce received more than 80 nominations, setting an all-time record of participation. We are thrilled to share the news about our 2014 Westside Award Winners. As is to be expected, this decision was difficult because we have so many truly outstanding businesses, non-profits and individuals working in and supporting the West Seattle community.

Click to read the rest of 2014 Westside Awards: Congratulations to General Biodiesel, Second Gear Sports, West Seattle Food Bank, Josh Sutton…

Know a ‘Rosie’? Or were you a ‘Rosie’? Local group meets Saturday

March 24, 2014 at 12:34 am | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 2 Comments

Rosies, unite! West Seattle’s Georgie Bright Kunkel is continuing to rally any and all Rosies she can find. Here’s news of the next get-together:

The next gathering of the newly organized Rosie the Riveter group will meet on Saturday, March 29th at 2:00 pm at the home of Georgie Bright Kunkel. Please call 206-935-8663 if you have not already RSVP’ed for this event.

Any woman who worked during the WWII years at any job that released a man to go to the service is a Rosie. You didn’t have to be a riveter.

Roadside memorial for Ruth N. Toliver, driver in Puget Ridge crash

March 23, 2014 at 3:49 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 5 Comments

Two weeks ago, we reported briefly on a driver who had crashed into a tree atop a greenbelt slope in the 4800 block of 21st SW on Puget Ridge. No major investigation followed; the car was soon towed, after its driver was taken to the hospital with what sounded, from emergency-radio communications, non-life-threatening injuries. But now a roadside memorial has appeared, on and beneath the tree hit that morning, and we thereby have learned the driver, 91-year-old Ruth Naomi Toliver, did not survive. Her name and photo are part of the memorial; we have found only a very brief obituary for Ms. Toliver (on a small Texas town’s paywalled news site), which says she was born November 8, 1922, in St. Louis, and died the day of the crash, March 9, at Harborview Medical Center. (The roadside memorial lists the same dates.) Public records show a Highland Park address for Ms. Toliver; the online obituary suggests memorial donations to (the former) Community Services for the Blind.

April 5th memorial service planned for Michael Hoffman

March 21, 2014 at 4:23 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 5 Comments

The date is now set for the memorial service honoring Michael Hoffman, the West Seattle business owner and community supporter gone too soon at just 47. Len Burton-Hardin of Howden-Kennedy Funeral Home says the memorial will be at noon Saturday, April 5th, at the Alki Masonic Center (40th/Edmunds). We also are told that donations in Mr. Hoffman’s memory can be made to Furry Faces Foundation and Pencil Me In For Kids, both of which recall him as an avid supporter. In addition to what we mentioned in our first report on his sudden death a week and a half ago – owning Liberty Bell Print and Design, and founding/organizing the annual West Seattle Car Show – he was part of many other community projects, as noted by some of the dozens of friends and colleagues who shared memories here.

Longtime local educator John Boyd headed to Central Washington

March 19, 2014 at 11:01 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | Comments Off

Three years after leaving Chief Sealth International High School, where he had been principal for seven years, John Boyd has a new job in Central Washington – superintendent of the Quincy School District near Wenatchee. Boyd has spent the last three years, since leaving Sealth, as an executive director in the Highline Public Schools district immediately south of Seattle. According to an online report about Boyd’s selection, his new district has about 2,700 students; its current superintendent is retiring after seven years.

Mayor to keynote Westside Awards; nomination deadline extended

March 17, 2014 at 8:35 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 9 Comments

Two updates on the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s upcoming Westside Awards breakfast (7:30 am April 3rd at Salty’s [WSB sponsor], tickets available now).

First, the keynote speaker has just been announced by Chamber CEO Lynn Dennis.

It’s Mayor Ed Murray, shown in a WSB photo from his Hiawatha appearance last week announcing the parks-funding proposal; he will be back on this side of the bay for the occasion.

Second, the nomination deadline has been extended through tomorrow, and Dennis says it’s important that you know EVERYONE is welcome to send in a nomination, Chamber member or not – “So often we do not get the chance to tell people how much we appreciate them and their involvement in the community,” she points out. “This is the opportunity to do just that.” Here again are the categories:

Westside Business of the Year – This nominee has been in business at least 3 years and demonstrated business excellence and success.

Westside Emerging Business – This nominee business has been in operations for less than 3 years but is meeting the challenges of a growing business through leadership.

Westside Not-For-Profit of the Year – This nominee non-profit is making our community a better place to live while contributing to community benefit through their mission.

Westsider of the Year – This nominee is making a lasting impact on our community and the lives of others or is an up-coming community role model.

West Seattle Chamber membership is NOT required for either nominators or nominees. Just go here to nominate a business or person tonight or tomorrow.

Need a break? WSHS student leaders offering ‘Parents’ Night Out’ to benefit community-service project

March 15, 2014 at 12:32 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | Comments Off

Student leaders at West Seattle High School are working on a service project to help homeless people, but they’re not just asking for donations – they’re offering you a chance to leave your kid(s) with them and go have a fun night out this coming Friday (March 21st). Here’s what they’re offering and how to sign up:

We will provide dinner, snacks, and beverages for your children, and then we will be playing games and movies in our theater and gym!

Minimum Donation: $20 per kid with $10 for each additional child in family

Time: 5 – 10:30 PM

Dinner: Pizza, snacks, and veggies!

Sorry, but no diapers!

We will be having experienced students and teachers there at all times. Please RSVP at wshsparentsnightout@gmail.com

To RSVP please include: parent’s first and last name, child’s name and age.

Remembering Mary ‘Butch’ Gribble and her friendly face

March 14, 2014 at 5:53 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 3 Comments

You might only have known Mary “Butch” Gribble from Illusions Hair Design (WSB sponsor) or community benefits, but if you met her, you wouldn’t forget her. Her sister Sue Lindblom, Illusions proprietor, shares this remembrance:

Mary (Coghill) Gribble

It is with sadness we report the passing of the friendly face of Mary ‘Butch’ Gribble to many residents living in West Seattle. After 23 years, she retired in November 2013 from Illusions Hair Design and passed peacefully at home on March 4th.

She was born Mary Coghill in Montana but was raised in West Seattle with siblings David, Angus, Susan, and Bill. Her family lost Angus in 1994.

She always loved her Scottish heritage and loved playing by ear her piano, accordion and squeezebox. Her father had musical talent but unfortunately she was the only one that took up the ‘ear.’ She had always been a real caretaker to many in her life including family members and friends. She started her working career for many years at Sears. All remember her energy and sense of humor wherever she was. Many remember her face at one of the car washes or dinners held at the West Seattle Eagles for a Pencil Me In For Kids benefit.

She leaves behind her devoted husband and best friend Grant Gribble, sister Sue (Mike Lindblom), brothers Bill (Debbie) and Dave, many nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great nephews, co-workers and past co-workers. There will be no services, as per her request. The family thanks all who have so kindly expressed their condolences.

Southwest Library’s Jan Hogan retiring after quarter-century

March 14, 2014 at 10:30 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people, Westwood | 4 Comments

That’s Jan Hogan, soon to retire from Southwest Branch Library in Westwood (35th/Henderson) after more than a quarter-century! Her library colleague Jane Gibson shared the photo and this note:

Congratulations to Children’s Librarian Jan Hogan on her retirement. Stop by this month and thank Jan for her nearly 26 years of wonderful stories and many happy memories she created at the Southwest Branch Library.

Jane says Jan is leaving in early April.

West Seattle Helpline executive director Tara Luckie moving on; search is on for successor

March 13, 2014 at 5:53 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | Comments Off

After almost three years as executive director of West Seattle Helpline, Tara Luckie announced today that she’s moving on to a new job in the same role for the Environmental Science Center in Burien.

Luckie’s announcement assures Helpline supporters that a “transition plan is in place to ensure the momentum continues while searching for a new Executive Director. The Board of Directors is committed to finding a qualified leader within the community to take on this role. I will offer my support to the board in whatever capacity I can to ensure a smooth transition. The board is currently forming a hiring committee and taking the steps needed to hire a qualified candidate.” She’s leaving at the end of the month – but tells WSB it’s just a professional departure; she is staying in West Seattle and will continue other community involvement, including with the Rotary Club of West Seattle. Other Helpline leaders including board president Brooks Riendl will continue working on the Taste of West Seattle fundraiser coming up May 15th.

You can help! Join hunger-fighting West Seattleites’ donation drives

March 12, 2014 at 11:10 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 2 Comments

Three ways West Seattle neighbors are helping fight hunger – including opportunities for you to join in, starting with:

SCOUTING FOR FOOD: It’s that time again, for West Seattle’s Troop 282 and other Scouts to carry out a door-to-door food drive. This Saturday, March 15th, they will leave door tags at homes in the West Seattle area between 8:30-10:30 am. They will come back the following Saturday, March 22nd, between 9 am and 10 am to collect food for the West Seattle Food Bank. If you would like to donate and need a pickup, call, 206-890-2237.” Above, Troop 282′s collection last year – they’re hoping for even more this time!

CURVES FOOD DRIVE: Both West Seattle branches of Curves are collecting food right now for the West Seattle Food Bank and White Center Food Bank – you’ll recall that donations to both, through the end of April, can go farther because of the Feinstein Challenge. Just stop by during their regular hours; addresses and hours are on their websites, here and here.

Finally, hunger-fighting kudos for Holy Rosary School:

Holy Rosary teacher Jon Barker shared the photo from last Friday, the first in a series of special giving occasions during Lent:

Parents and students at Holy Rosary School will be making Lunches of Love every Friday during Lent (March 5-April 18) for the men at St. Martin de Porres shelter. (Last Friday) there were approximately 125 lunches taken to the shelter. We also collected men’s gloves to donate.

As explained on its website, this shelter assists homeless men age 50 and over.

Memorial planned this Saturday for Clara Robinson, 1913-2014

March 12, 2014 at 6:52 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 2 Comments

A memorial is planned at The Kenney this Saturday (March 15th) for Clara Robinson, who lived a full century (and then some). Here’s the remembrance to be shared with the community.

Clara was born in Rollage, Minnesota on June 12, 1913, baptized Clara Sylvia Thun. She graduated from Moorhead State Teachers College and began her first teaching position in a one-room school in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota.

She was a soft spoken but an adventurous woman. With her soon-to-be sister-in-law, Mary Robinson, she left from Minnesota in 1934 for Moose Pass, Alaska, with the goal of teaching school. Providence intervened and Clara fell in love with her childhood neighbor and friend Edwin David Robinson, who was mining in the area.

They were married on October 5, 1935 in Seward, Alaska, but not without incident. October weather in Alaska can be unpredictable, and a rainstorm had flooded the road to the railroad station. Determined to make it to their wedding celebration, Eddie, Clara, and the entire wedding party walked several miles to the train. They would arrive just in time to say, “I do,” and cut the cake. Their love and commitment to one another lasted almost 50 years, until Eddie died in 1984. They first became parents in 1936, and would eventually raise four children. She lived to celebrate and witness the birth of nine grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.

With membership at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church since 1961, both Clara and Ed were very involved with all aspects of the church. She sang in the Chancel Choir, taught Sunday School, was an active Koinonia member, and a Circle member. When the new floor was installed in the social hall, Clara scrubbed the entire floor on hands and knees to prepare the surface.

Clara passed on Sunday, March 9, 2014. She leaves to cherish her memories, three daughters, Verna, Edna, Julia; one son, David, 9 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

There will be a memorial at the Kenney Home on Saturday, March 15th, at 1:30 pm. In lieu of gifts or flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Mark’s Community Center, a learning center established for the purpose of teaching basic reading skills to at-risk youth. Their address is:

St. Mark’s Community Center
6020 Beacon Ave S.
Seattle, WA 98108

Inquiries may be made at 206-722-5165.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Know an award-worthy West Seattle business or citizen? Nominate now!

March 12, 2014 at 12:17 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 6 Comments

The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominees for its annual Westside Awards, to be presented next month, and the deadline’s almost here. These are the categories:

Westside Business of the Year – This nominee has been in business at least 3 years and demonstrated business excellence and success.

Westside Emerging Business – This nominee business has been in operations for less than 3 years but is meeting the challenges of a growing business through leadership.

Westside Not-For-Profit of the Year – This nominee non-profit is making our community a better place to live while contributing to community benefit through their mission.

Westsider of the Year – This nominee is making a lasting impact on our community and the lives of others or is an up-coming community role model.

West Seattle Chamber membership is NOT required to be part of this, as a nominator or nominee. Just go here to nominate a business or person; the Chamber is asking for nominations to be in by Friday.

(Disclosure – WSB belongs to the Chamber, as a local business, and was honored to be recipient of the Business of the Year award in 2010. The past four years’ winner lists are on the Chamber website; go here to see our coverage of last year’s Westside Awards.)

West Seattle business owner, Junction Car Show founder Michael Hoffman dies at 47

March 11, 2014 at 5:48 pm | In Obituaries, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 43 Comments

At left, that’s Michael Hoffman, proprietor of Liberty Bell Print and Design and founder of the West Seattle Car Show. We’ve just learned that Mr. Hoffman died of a sudden illness last night at his Arbor Heights home; he was 47 years old. For 13 years, Mr. Hoffman owned what was founded in 1973 as Liberty Bell Printing, located in The Junction until moving it out of a storefront three years ago. Susan Melrose, director of the West Seattle Junction Association, shares this tribute:

The news of losing our friend and colleague Michael Hoffman will be received as a tragic loss for our community. Michael’s spirit of kindness, consideration, humor, and charity has touched so many people in so many ways. He has left a positive imprint on West Seattle that will be remembered. Here in The Junction, we will remember and honor Michael with the deep appreciation that he so genuinely deserves.

Mr. Hoffman founded the street-closing Junction Car Show in 2008 and continued to organize it annually; last year’s edition was the sixth annual show. No word yet on a memorial service; we’ll update with whatever we find out.

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